Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Michael Shore, MEDC
Gains Access to $200,000 in Technical Assistance, Training
State officials joined the leaders and citizens of Howell to celebrate the city's Cool Cities Main Street designation announced by Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today. The award, one of just four given statewide, will give the city access to $200,000 in technical assistance and training as part of a long-term management approach to revitalizing and maintaining a successful downtown. The program is implemented through a partnership between the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.
"Making our cities cool places to live, work and play is critical to bringing new businesses and new jobs to Michigan," Granholm said. "This training will help Howell plan for its economic future by enhancing its ability to compete for jobs, residents and investment."
This is the third year that the MEDC has administered the intensive training program modeled on the four-step approach developed by the Main Street National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington D.C.
The Main Street approach encompasses promoting long-term design concepts, marketing, community cooperation and organization, and encouraging economic restructuring to strengthen and expand the existing economic base to capitalize on new business opportunities.
"Howell has great plans with the opportunity we've been awarded," said Howell City Manager Shea Charles. "We're anxious to put the Main Street philosophy into action and work with the MEDC and National Main Street Center towards creating a truly cool downtown."
The competitive application process began in March with 10 communities submitting letters of intent. These were narrowed down to the 7 finalists, who were then invited to present formal applications to a team of officials from 12 state and local development organizations. All finalist communities were judged to have highly meritorious proposals and were designated as this year's Main Street communities. Ishpeming, Grand Haven and Midland also received the designation.
"The Main Street program has been immensely popular and truly makes a difference in the communities that receive the award," said MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway. "I commend Howell's leaders for aggressively seeking this opportunity to receive valued training to improve their residents' quality of life and secure a more stable economic future."
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.